Trump: Some will be ‘affected badly’ as states ease coronavirus restrictions
President Trump on Tuesday said some people would be “affected badly” by the decision to begin reopening the country amid the coronavirus pandemic but that it was important to get the economy moving.
Speaking to reporters during a visit to Arizona, Trump said that the “people of our country are warriors” and argued that the country had to reopen soon even if everything was not perfect.
“Will some people be affected? Yes,” Trump added. “Will some people be affected badly? Yes. But we have to get our country open, and we have to get it open soon.”
Trump echoed those remarks while sitting for an interview with ABC’s “World News Tonight,” stating that it is “possible” there will be some coronavirus deaths as states start to relax quarantine measures.
He said that new cases and deaths as the nation reopens can be slowed through social distancing policies that will remain a part of life.
“It’s possible there will be some because you won’t be locked into an apartment or a house or whatever it is,” Trump said. “At the same time, we’re going to practice social distancing. We’re going to be washing hands. We’re going to be doing a lot of the things that we’ve learned to do over the last period of time.”
BREAKING: Pres. Trump tells @DavidMuir “it’s possible there will be some” deaths as states ease coronavirus restrictions, acknowledging it was the choice the U.S. faces to reopen the economy.
— ABC News (@ABC) May 5, 2020
About 30 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last six weeks as businesses experience a dramatic drop in revenue amid a near shutdown of the economy.
A number of states have started to reopen their economies even as health officials voice caution about reopening too quickly, worrying it could spark a second wave of infections.
Anthony Fauci, the government’s top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, said on Monday that reopening represented a balance of “how many deaths and how much suffering” you are “willing to accept to get back to what you want to be some form of normality sooner rather than later.”
Trump said in his interview with ABC that social distancing restrictions were not sustainable. He acknowledged that there will be “more death” due to the virus, and he claimed that the virus would “pass with or without a vaccine.”
“And I think we’re doing very well on the vaccines, but, with or without a vaccine, it’s going to pass, and we’re going to be back to normal,” Trump said. “But it’s been a rough process. There is no question about it.”
The U.S. has confirmed more than 1.2 million cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, and roughly 70,800 deaths from it, according to a Johns Hopkins University database.
Former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said earlier this week that measures to mitigate the spread of the virus did not work as well as public health experts intended.
“While mitigation didn’t fail, I think it’s fair to say it didn’t work as well as we expected. We expected we’d start seeing more significant declines in new cases and deaths around the nation at this point, and we’re just not seeing that,” he said.
Tom Inglesby, the director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, noted on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that it would take health officials about two weeks to understand how the easing of restrictions would impact the virus’s spread.
UPDATED 6:09 p.m.